Longtime Carousel for Missoula director to retire

Cory Walsh

After about a quarter-century and thousands of pony rides, Theresa Cox is retiring from A Carousel for Missoula and the Dragon Hollow playground at the end of the year.

Cox has served as executive director of the nonprofit since 1995, not long after the vintage-style carousel, populated by horses hand-carved by volunteers, opened to the public.

She’s stayed on because it’s an “opportunity to make magic,” she said.

“It’s an opportunity to make people happy. For me the story of the carousel has always been more about the people than it has been about the carousel itself,” she added.

With the pandemic forcing their organization and so many others into a period of transition, Cox thought it was “a good time for someone else to establish an identity, because things have changed everywhere, and at the carousel as well.”

Her incoming replacement, Tracy Ursery, said the Caras Park attraction is a “treasure,” and she doesn’t believe in change for change’s sake. The pandemic means it’s a chance to reacquaint people.

“I’m also excited to reintroduce the carousel to Missoula. I think for people who maybe haven’t been here in awhile, or have forgotten about us, to put it out there again,

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